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Franciscan Peacemaking Initiative

Franciscan Peacemaking InitiativeSt. Camillus Parish is proud to be actively involved in the effort of the Franciscan Province of Holy Name to promote justice and peace in the  Holy Land.  During the crusades, almost 800 years ago, St. Francis of  Assisi went to the  Middle East as a messenger of peace and reconciliation.   As heirs of this rich Tradition, parishioners travel to Israel and the Occupied Territories as part of the Franciscan Peacemaking pilgrimage, where they meet with Christians, Jews, and Muslims working together for a just peace in that land.  Upon their return back to the  U.S., these members of our parish help to educate others on peace efforts, organize prayer vigils for peace in the Holy Land and engage in advocacy. 

Ways that St. Camillus testifies to the local community about the need for peace in the Holy Land is by sponsoring inter-faith events, which focus on the challenges and opportunities for peace in the Holy Land and promoting Province-wide Holy Land advocacy efforts. To find out more, please contact Fr. Jacek Orzechowski at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Franciscan Pilgrimage to Holy Land

holy_1May 17– 27, 2016

During this Year of Mercy, we invite pilgrims to visit the Holy Land.  Upon the invitation of the Holy Father, we opened a Holy Door, a Door of Mercy in designated Churches in the diocese: the Basilica of Gethsemane in Jerusalem, the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth and the Church of Saint Catherine in Bethlehem.  Pilgrims should not be afraid to come. Despite the tense situation in this land, the pilgrim route is safe and they are respected and appreciated by all sectors in the Holy Land.

His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem,

 Who is organizing it?     Fr. Jacek Orzechowski, OFM with the support and under the direction of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (www.hcef.org)

What will be the size of the group?    Between 15 and 20 people.

What are some of the holy places that we will visit?  The Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth,  the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, the Shepherd’s Fields in Beit Sahour, the Garden of Gethsemane, Jacob’s Well in Nablus,  Mount Tabor, the place of Jesus’ Transfiguration,  the Mount of Beatitudes, Tabgha, the Sea of Galilee (a boat ride), the room where Jesus had the Last Supper with his disciples, the Mount of Olives, the Holy Sepulchre where Jesus was crucified and his body laid into the tomb, and many other holy places.  Mass will be celebrated at some of these places.

What is unique about this pilgrimage?   

This pilgrimage brings people to some of the most holy places of our faith tradition and makes the Bible come alive.  It also exposes our pilgrims to meet some of the most extraordinary people of the Holy Land – Christians, Jews and Muslims – who work together for justice, peace and reconciliation.  Their inspirational testimonies not only allow the pilgrims to gain a deeper understanding of what is happening in the Holy Land; but they also build bridges of hope and solidarity. 

Read more: Franciscan Pilgrimage to Holy Land

The Hopes, Joys and Challenges of our Palestinian Christian Sisters and Brothers


Last week in our bulletin, we had a powerful reflection from Br. Robert Lentz who was deeply moved by the lives of the Palestinian men and women that he met while on a Holy Land Peace Pilgrimage.  To get a better understanding of Br. Robert’s experience, you are invited to watch a short video that illustrates the joys and hopes of our Palestinian brothers and sisters, as well as the challenges they face.  The 16-minute video, produced by the Holy Land Ecumenical Christian Foundation (HCEF), is available on their website.